The ShiftSpace Commissions Program

November 2007

Supported by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

While the Internet’s design is widely understood to be open and distributed, control over how users interact online has given us largely centralized and closed systems. The web is undergoing a transformation whose promise is user empowerment—but who controls the terms of this new read/write web? The web has followed the physical movement of the city’s social center from the (public) town square to the (private) mall. ShiftSpace attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public space on the web.

Turbulence has commissioned ShiftSpace and now ShiftSpace commissions you.

Development grants of up to $2,000 were awarded to individuals and collectives using ShiftSpace as a platform to create new “Spaces” and “Trails”. By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations, and interventions – which are called Shifts. Users can choose between several authoring tools – called Spaces – that allow web users to annotate, modify and shift the content of a page and through ShiftSpace, share that shift with the rest of the web. Trails are maps of shifts (shiftspace content) that create meta-layer navigation across websites. These trails might be used as a platform for collaborative research, for curating net art exhibitions, or as a way to facilitate a context-based public debate.

REQUIREMENTS

This platform no longer functions, but you can fork the code at Github.

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